8 incredibly annoying Christmas gifts that all parents HATE
There are the children's gifts that parents love; cuddly teddy bears, sweet books; fun costumes and cute pyjamas.
Then there are the presents that children love (fart guns, finger paints, games that involve slime and noise and fake snot).... all of which send parents up the walls.
If, like me, you are buying for a child that is not your own, the latter is your category. This window does not remain open to you forever; as soon as you have kids yourself (I'm told) you can no longer risk the revenge gifting.
In the meantime however, have at it. Without grandparents, godparents, aunts and uncles, these noisy, mad, messy, nasty (and therefore super fun) gifts would never make it into the home of the average child.
Here are the top eight gifts that make parents completely crazy:
1.The treat maker
It's all very well to bring the chocolate fountain/ cake pop machine/cotton candy maker to the house, but somebody has to set the thing up, stock it with expensive ingredients, decorate the cake pops and deal with the sugar meltdown at the other side.
2. The box of bits
One of the most passive aggressive things you can do to a parent you don't like is to gift their child a toy with THOUSANDS of tiny pieces. Ten seconds after the box is opened, those bricks or beads or bits will begin appearing in every part of the house, from the toilet to the dog's bed. Every morning, despite vacuuming the entire house, an adult will step on another bit and wish they were dead for at least ten seconds.
3. The drum kit
If this is the manner of torture you've decided to unleash on your friend's or sibling's household, it is important that you go big or go home; splash out a little extra on a small, portable amp. Then change your number and move house.
4. The live animal
We all know dogs (and cats) are not for Christmas. But the six-year-old has been begging for a kitten since she was two-and-a-half and nobody in the family has a fur allergy so... enter Granny and Grandad with a tiny ball of mewling fluff, a cosy bed, a year's worth of vet-approved cat food and a bouncy ball full of catnip on a stick, thus winning Christmas. Mum and dad spend the holidays scrubbing cat poop off the carpets.
5. The building project
Because every parent wants to wake up and deal with this on Christmas morning...
6. The insanely dangerous thing
This category includes skateboards, pogo sticks, unicycles, hoverboards... anything that is highly likely to result in a child breaking their teeth and needing expensive orthodontic work for the rest of their lives. It is also inevitable that a tipsy adult will cause themselves untold damage by 'having a go' after Christmas dinner. If you insist on gifting any one of these items, invest in helmets, a First Aid kit and health insurance first.
There's a reason glitter is known as 'the herpes of the craft world': once it gets on you, it'll be on you forever. Even the tiniest vial of the sparkly stuff can last up to ten years on your furniture and in your eyebrows; twinkling away malevolently as you give a presentation at work in June. If you are the offended parent, an easy way to get rid of said glitter is to have the child use it in the construction of an elaborate thank-you card to post to the lucky gift-giver.
8. Bells and whistles
There's a special place in hell for anyone who hands a whistle to a small child. The same goes for harmonicas; hand bells, keyboards and tambourines.
What was the worst gift anyone ever gave your kids? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.